Labour Statistics

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd November 1990.

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Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , East Londonderry 12:00 am, 22nd November 1990

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the present level of unemployment in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Mr Richard Needham Mr Richard Needham , North Wiltshire

At 11 October 1990, there were 94,758 unemployed claimants in the Province. Figures show that the underlying downward trend is continuing and seasonally adjusted unemployment is now at its lowest level for over eight years.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , East Londonderry

Anyone who studies a table of travel-to-work areas in the United Kingdom will find that nine of the top 11 in terms of unemployment are to be found in Northern Ireland. What failure of Government policy has brought about that state of affairs after so many years of direct rule and how long does the Minister expect that it will be before the level of unemployment in Northern Ireland reduces to the United Kingdom average?

Photo of Mr Richard Needham Mr Richard Needham , North Wiltshire

The hon. Gentleman knows that the level of unemployment in Northern Ireland last month continued to decline although it is rising in the rest of the United Kingdom. The economy of Northern Ireland is expanding at a time when the economy is not doing as well elsewhere in the United Kingdom. We should welcome the fact that it is expanding in Northern Ireland and realise that it is terrorism which does so much damage to our chances of further economic success.